Date:Tuesday November 28 2006
Barely a week after blonde bombshell Liam Lawrence left for Stoke, ego-brother Ben Alnwick is set for a January move to Spurs.
Hollywood hairstyles, boyish good lucks and a new summer contract are clearly not the traits Roy Keane looks for in his players.
Only months after 'committing' to a future five years at the club, it would seem the England under-21 international is part of the deal that sees Marton Fulop arrive at the Stadium of Light, with Alnwick set to make the move to North (not South, der) London.
Considering the young prospect, that's right, prospect, handed in a transfer request at the end of the last season amid rumours of Spurs' interest back then, it will come as no surprise to any Sunderland fan that he still wants away. Especially now he finds himself as second choice on Wearside.
And while he may have had a case for annoyance last season when he found himself playing second fiddle to a hapless Kelvin Davis, Ben can have no complaints at his treatment this season.
Given a new contract to compliment the number 1 shirt, he played the first 11 games of the season, only for his indifferent form to prompt Keane to give the largely unknown Darren Ward a shot at claiming the goalkeeping position. Ward has not looked back after his recent commanding displays have surprised many on Wearside.
Alnwick could do a lot worse than to stay and learn from a top pro like him. But it seems the wheels are already in motion.
'Ben has been frustrated at not playing first team football recently,' said Keane.
'He has been to see me a few times, so it looks as though he'll be going on his way. It looks as though it's a done deal, but you never say for certain in this business because there's always something that can go wrong.'
It seems Keane, referring to uncertain 'done deals', just cannot resist an opportunity to have yet another pop at Ipswich's Jim Magilton, regarding the Tommy Miller loan collapse.
But back to Ben Alnwick. He's frustrated at not playing, says Keane. Not playing because he's lost his spot (rightly), to a 'keeper who last season played for Norwich's reserves.
So where is he heading in his petulant stupor? To see if he can displace Paul Robinson of Spurs. That'll the Paul Robinson of England international fame then. Not forgetting Czech internatioanl Radek Cerny too, the current number two. Good luck Ben lad.
In addition to Hungarian international Martin Fulop, Sunderland are set to receive 1m nicker. Having heard the noises made by disappointed Coventry fans who missed out on him after he spent last season on loan, it sounds like it this is a deal to suit all parties.
I just wonder who'll benefit in the long run.
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